Adirondack Challenge pits Cuomo against legislators, state officials

The 2013 Adirondack Challenge. Photo: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, via Flickr

The 2013 Adirondack Challenge. Photo: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, via Flickr

Are you ready to raft? I said, ARE YOU READY TO RAFT?

Sorry. Anyway, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office has just now announced details of this year’s Adirondack Challenge, a daylong event to be held this Sunday to promote Adirondack tourism. You might remember last year’s challenge, when Cuomo faced off against then-NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

So here below are the details. Anyone want to bet on who’s going to pop his or her team’s raft? Or who’s an expert rafter? North Country Sen. Betty Little will be captaining the NYS Senate Republican Conference rafting team!

As part of the Challenge, Governor Cuomo will be participating in whitewater rafting Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, and numerous state and local officials and tourism industry representatives.

“The Adirondack Challenge is about highlighting the beauty and recreational opportunities available to visitors of the region, and New York’s second annual challenge will showcase everything the Adirondack’s has to offer like never before,” Governor Cuomo said. “Last year we set the bar high with a Challenge that drew a variety of tourism industry representatives, business leaders, and elected officials, and this year we are going even further.”

Governor Cuomo’s whitewater rafting team will include Sandra Lee and his daughters.

Additional rafts competing in this year’s Challenge include:

  • · New York State Assembly Democratic Conference, captained by Speaker Sheldon Silver
    · New York State Senate Republican Conference, captained by Senator Betty Little
    · New York State Senate Independent Democratic Conference, captained by Leader Jeff Klein
    · New York State Senate Democratic Conference, captained by Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
    · Onondaga County, captained by County Executive Joanie Mahoney
    · City of Albany, captained by Mayor Kathy Sheehan
    · Western New York, captained by WNY Regional Council Co-Chair Howard Zemsky and Mayor Paul Dyster from Niagara Falls

In addition to whitewater rafting, the 2014 Adirondack Challenge offers participants the opportunity to go golfing, hiking, fishing, paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, or take part on an Adirondack motorcycle ride. A Taste NY reception is also being held to highlight the many world-class food and beverage products that are made by local vendors.

Other participants in this year’s challenge include:

  • · New York State Senators Hugh Farley, Diane Savino, David Valesky, Michael Gianaris, and Patty Ritchie
    · New York State Assembly Members J. Gary Pretlow, Keith Wright, Marc Butler, Michael Cusick, Donna Lupardo, Kenneth Zebrowski, Addie Russell, Sam Roberts, Patricia Fahy, Angelo Santabarbara, Michaelle Solages, Daniel Stec, and Maritza Davila
    · Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Douglas
    · Hamilton County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Farber
    · Franklin County Board of Supervisors Chairman D. Billy Jones
    · St. Lawrence County Legislature Chairman Jonathan Putney
    · Saratoga Springs Mayor Joanne Yepsen
    · Larry Schwartz, Secretary to the Governor
    · ESD President and CEO Kenneth Adams
    · Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey
    · DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens
    · OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito
    · SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher
    · SUNY Canton President Zvi Szafran
    · SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling
    · Clarkson University President and Regional Council Co-Chair Tony Collins
    · Tourism Advisory Council Members Cristyne Nicholas, Thomas Mulroy, and John Ernst
    · Adirondack Park Agency Chair Lani Ulrich
    · NYS Canals Corp. Director Brian Stratton
    · Parole Board Chairwoman Tina Stanford
    · Division of Veterans Affairs Director Col. Eric Hesse
    · Acting Director of the NYS Office for the Aging Corinda Crossdale
    · Acting Commissioner of the Department of Human Rights Helen Foster
    · Mohawk Vally Regional Council Co-Chair Lawrence T. Gilroy
    · NYS AFL-CIO Director of Government Affairs Suzy Ballantyne
    · Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council President Paul Brown
    · Business Council of NYS President & CEO Heather Bricetti
    · Olympians Chris Mazdzer and Andrew Weibrecht

In 2012 alone, tourism in the Adirondacks Region generated $1.24 billion in direct spending and $152 million in state and local taxes. This economic sector was integral to the region, attributing for 13,890 jobs, 17.9 percent of all employment in the region, and $332 million in labor income.


Tags: , , , ,

7 Comments on “Adirondack Challenge pits Cuomo against legislators, state officials”

Leave a Comment
  1. Pete Klein says:

    It will be interesting to see how this all turns out with so little pre-planning and next to zero advertising.

  2. Ken Hall says:

    “In 2012 alone, tourism in the Adirondacks Region generated $1.24 billion in direct spending and $152 million in state and local taxes. This economic sector was integral to the region, attributing for 13,890 jobs, 17.9 percent of all employment in the region, and $332 million in labor income.”

    Very interesting:

    $1240million in direct spending
    $152million in state and local taxes (likely primarily from the tourists in addition to their direct spending since businesses do not pay taxes on moneys spent to support their business only on “profits”)
    $332million in labor income paid to 13800 “jobs” (not necessarily 13800 employees)
    $1240million – $332million = $908million unaccounted for (owner profits/income tax, mortgages or maintenance perchance?)

    I’ll be reasonable let us assume the cost for materials for maintenance at half the labor costs ($166million) and leave the maintenance labor costs in the $332million identified as labor income, then:

    $908million – $166million = $742million unaccounted for (mortgages, and owner profits/income tax?)

    In as much as there was no definition as to the types of taxes included in the $152million of state and local taxes collected one can divide 152/1240 = .1226 or 12.26% of the direct spending which would be in line with or below what a combination of state and local sales taxes would equal. We can therefore now be highly confident that the remaining $742million (give or take a bit) can be considered “profit”.

    Laissez-faire Capitalism at it’s finest:

    NYS spends how many $$ to promote Adirondack tourism, gratis to the local businesses?

    Let us arbitrarily assume equal sized small businesses each employing 10 people or 1389 owners (13890/10 = 1389; obviously some are smaller and some are larger this is a reasonable guess).

    $332million(labor income)/13,890(jobs) = $23902 average pay per job and again some will earn more some less (data from the article)

    Let us arbitrarily assume each of the business have about a $500000 mortgage and on average they pay $60000/year to pay down the mortgages or $60000 X 1389 = $83.34million/year then:

    $742million unaccounted for (mortgages, and owner profits) – $83.34million (mortgage costs/year) = $658.66million (unaccounted for profit)

    $658.66million(unaccounted for profit)/1389(estimated number of businesses) = $474197 average profit for each business and again some will profit more some less (data estimated from information in the article)

    There you have it a depiction of the immensity of the wealth disparity in the good ole USA “right here in our back yard” at the local (Adirondack tourism) level:

    Employees/job average wages $23902/year

    Employers average profits $474197/year

    For a measly difference of $474197 – $23902 = $450295 in favor of the employers

    In percentages we have 474197/23902 = 18.84 times or 1884% in favor of the employers

    In percentages for the employees average earnings/job we have 23902/474197 = 0.00504 or 0.504% of what the average employer earns.

    More than half of the direct tourism total spending is likely profits for the businesses/owners, 658.66/1240 = 0.53 or 53%.

    Anyone still believe that the wealthy ARE NOT GAINING by leaps and bounds while the workers ARE LOSING by leaps and bounds LOCALLY AS WELL AS NATIONALLY?

    Anyone still believe that the wealthy need/deserve more tax and incentive breaks?

    It is time to wake up folks laissez-faire capitalism is doing the same thing to the USA now that it did in the 1920’s.

  3. Ken Hall says:

    My apologies I either left off a 2 from 23902 or added a 0 to 474197 when I did the calculation, via an electronic calculator, and the values expressed in this sentence fragment : ” 23902/474197 = 0.00504 or 0.504% of what the average employer earns”.

    Should read: “23902/474197 = 0.0504 or 05.04% of what the average employer earns”

  4. Paul says:

    Ken, Your numbers are all kooky. These are not the ONLY dollars in the economy. They are a portion of the economy.

    For example you can’t take the PORTION of income related to tourism divide it by the number of jobs and come up with a salary for that person.

    Here they are saying 17% you are pretending that the other 83% doesn’t exist.

  5. Paul says:

    This thing ended in a TIE? What a rip off!!

  6. Ken Hall says:


    The last paragraph in the article pretty clearly defines that “13,890 jobs, 17.9 percent of all employment in the region, and $332 million in labor income” was the contribution that the tourism industry provided for the Adirondack region in 2012; does it not? The only jobs I was basing my calculations upon were the jobs which were being lauded by the intent of the entire article. All I am pointing out is that the disparity in incomes between those who provide the “labor” for the Adirondack tourism industry such as: cooks, dishwashers, bus persons, waiters, tour guides or whatever is required to keep the tourists arriving and those who own those industries in this microcosm of the universe, is “enormous”.

    Obviously the other 83% of the employed folks in the Adirondack region are hopefully compensated for their labor; however, the only data in the article was confined to those directly employed as labor for the tourism industry. The article was specifically providing information about the tourism industry labor, no one else. In providing said information the total spending by tourists was totaled up by accountants, perhaps, and was provided to the author of said article along with the total amount that the 13890 jobs (not people) were paid ($332million) as well as the total the the tourism industry produced for state and local taxing entities. The article had no information about compensation for any of the other 67816 jobs which comprise the 83% you appear to think I have turned into non entities. I did not, I simply had no information about them other than that 17% of the total was 13890 therefore the total number of job would be 81706 and 83% of the total is 67816.

  7. Couch says:

    I tink another thing that is missing is the grants and special funding… For example…the state said Lake Placid (and other communities) needed to upgrade their water filtration… for Lake Placid if they would have put a charge on flushes per room (i.e. so hotels/motels/resorts would have financed the improvements)… that would have cut into profits….

    Instead the state gave LP something like $15 million to improve this… saving the people who used the water system a big break.

    A major storm knocked out a bridge, requiring people to drive up a little further to get to their Multi-Million second homes.. with in days that was fixed…

    To the credit of the rich, with homes on waterfront, they pay a lot of taxes…

    What tourism does: creates some jobs
    and divides into two – rich and poor, a few in the middle.

    Not sure what the right industry is for the Adks, but clearly tourism is good for you if you own the motel… not so if you are a chambermaid and work 2-3 jobs

Leave a Reply